Sunday, May 9, 2010

Update on queen watch

Saturday, May 8th we went back into the "green hive" which is our problem hive. Good news: The capped brood had emerged. Bad news: no sign of new larvae. There was plenty of capped and open cell honey. But it looks like this hive is queenless. There had been a queen but she appears to be gone. We were hoping that they had raised a new queen but no signs yet. Since it takes a few days for her to mature, mate and begin laying eggs we will go back into the hive and take a look in a few days. Then we may have to "requeen". In beekeeper lingo that means purchase a new queen.
Time is running out because workers only live about six weeks and you need workers to raise the new young once the eggs have been laid.

On a more positive note, our other hive, the "yellow hive" is doing well. These are pictures of a frame with capped bood. It is sort of a yellow color and in the middle of the frame. At the top you see white caps, that is capped honey. This is called a honey arch and it is a good sign.

We were able to see larvae in cells in this hive. Everything seems to be on track. We were also lucky to spot the queen, she was hard at work.

Here are pictures of Zack our beekeeper in training.

No gloves, only a veil to keep them out of his hair.

This frame does not have honey or brood yet, they are just working on drawing out the comb. There are nine frames in each of our hives so it takes quite a bit of time to get them all drawn out and filled.

Checking out the frame, looking for eggs.

1 comment:

  1. Cool stuff. I can't wait to hear this weekends update to see if you have a queen or not. How hard is it to buy a new queen? Are they readily available or will one have to be shipped in from somewhere else?